countries dependent on tourism

This post was sponsored by Maupintour.

The travel industry has been hard hit by COVID-19, with stay at home orders, quarantines, and limited travel options bringing the industry to a near halt. The world is beginning to open up slowly, however, it will still be a long time until things are back to normal. Until then, it’s best to see the world without leaving your house.

If you’re like us, you’re missing travel and all of the little adventures that come along with it. You may find yourself wondering what parts of the world depend on tourism the most. We’re going to follow this article up with another piece that looks into that. Here, we’re going to look at the 20 largest economies in the world, and see who depends on travel and tourism the most.

We’ll be evaluating “depends on travel and tourism” by the percentage of total GDP that is made up by the travel and tourism industry. Without further ado, these are the countries from top to bottom that would like to see travel return to normal as soon as it’s safe and possible.

1. Mexico

mexico tourism as percent of gdp

Mexico Travel and Tourism Industry as a Percentage of GDP: 15.5%

Mexico’s economy is largely driven by tourism, and if a lockdown continues it will lose billions of dollars in revenues. Beach destinations like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Tulum are as empty as they’ve ever been.

2. Spain

spain tourism as percent of gdp

Spain Travel and Tourism Industry as a Percentage of GDP: 14.3%

Should the lockdown continue until September, Spain is projected to lose $68 billion in revenues.

3. Italy

italy tourism as percent of gdp

Italy Travel and Tourism as a Percentage of GDP: 13.0%

One of the hardest-hit countries in the world by COVID-19, Italy’s most popular tourist attractions are now ghost towns. They look almost eerie without the tourists.

4. Turkey

turkey tourism as percent of gdp

Turkey Travel and Tourism Industry as a Percentage of GDP: 11.3%

In 2019, Turkey attracted roughly 51 million foreign tourists, ranking as the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world.

5. China

China tourism as percent of gdp

China’s Travel and Tourism Industry as a Percentage of GDP: 11.3%

In 2017, roughly 29 million people in China were employed either directly or indirectly from tourism-related activities.

6. Australia

australia tourism as percent of gdp

Australia Travel and Tourism as a Percentage of GDP: 10.8%

The Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, The Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Uluru, Blue Mountains National Park…these are some of the most iconic sites in the world. Australia has not only had to deal with COVID-19 this year, but also issues stemming from serious bushfires that also hurt the tourism industry.

7. Saudi Arabia

saudi arabia tourism as percent of gdp

Saudi Arabia’s Travel and Tourism Industry as a Percentage of GDP: 9.5%

Saudi Arabia is the second largest tourist destination in the Middle East, mostly due to religious pilgrimages.

8. Germany

germany tourism as percent of gdp

Germany’s Travel and Tourism Industry as a Percentage of GDP: 9.1%

With 38 million tourists visiting Germany in 2018, the country also ranks 8th in the world in terms of absolute visitors per year.

9. United Kingdom

UK tourism as percent of gdp

United Kingdom’s Travel and Tourism Industry as a Percentage of GDP: 9.0%

Travelers from the US contribute most to the travel industry in the UK, with roughly 4 million Americans visiting yearly.

10. USA

usa tourism as percent of gdp

USA Travel and Tourism as a Percentage of GDP: 8.6%

In terms of absolute dollars, the USA is number one in the world, and outside of China no one comes close. Tourism contributes over $1.8 trillion to the US economy.

11. France

france tourism as percent of gdp

France Travel and Tourism as a Percentage of GDP: 8.5%

Compared in absolute numbers to the USA, $229 billion may seem tiny – but as a percentage of GDP, France is in nearly the exact same situation as the US.

12. Brazil

tourism as percent of gdp in brazil

Brazil Travel and Tourism as a Percentage of GDP: 7.7%

With Brazil now becoming a hotspot for COVID-19 cases, it’s likely to be under lockdown for quite some time now.

13. Switzerland

tourism as percent of gdp in switzerland

Switzerland Travel and Tourism as a Percentage of GDP: 7.6%

Skiing and mountaineering are extremely popular in Switzerland, with tourists flocking every year from around the world to get hold of a little adventure. Most of the countries visitors, by a long shot, come from Germany.

14. Japan

tourism as percent of gdp in japan

Japan Travel and Tourism as a Percentage of GDP: 7.0%

Japan attracted over 30 million international tourists in 2018. With over 21 World Heritage Sites and a culture unique to the islands, it’s an extremely popular destination.

15. India

tourism as percent of gdp india

India Travel and Tourism as a Percentage of GDP: 6.8%

Number of total travelers to India had been steadily growing up until COVID-19. Domestic tourism is also huge within the country.

16. Canada

tourism as percent of gdp canada

Canada Travel and Tourism as a Percentage of GDP: 6.3%

The percentage of GDP gets a bit smaller as we head down the list, with countries like Canada largely depending on natural exports as opposed to tourism. The border with the USA remains closed to non-essential travel.

17. Netherlands

tourism as percent of gdp netherlands

The Netherlands Travel and Tourism as a Percentage of GDP: 5.7%

No visiting Amsterdam for a while. The cities airport is a hub for many airlines, connecting travelers to the European continent and beyond. It’s expected to be quiet for quite some time.

18. Indonesia

tourism as percent of gdp indonesia

Indonesia Travel and Tourism as a Percentage of GDP: 5.7%

Indonesia saw over 16 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2018, a 1.9% increase from the year prior.

19. Russia

tourism as percent of gdp russia

Russia Travel and Tourism as a Percentage of GDP: 5.0%

The country contains 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with many more on UNESCO’s tentative lists. From cruises on the Volga to train rides on the Trans-Siberian Railway, numbers will be way down in 2020.

20. South Korea

tourism as percent of gdp south korea

South Korea’s Travel and Tourism Industry as a Percentage of GDP: 2.8%

South Korea is by far the least affected country on this list in terms of relative dollars lost from travel and tourism. Don’t mistake the small number, however. Losing a chunk of 2.8% of its total GDP will still greatly impact the country.

Source: Visualizing the Countries Most Reliant on Tourism, Visual Capitalist.